Dictatorship in a single export crop economy
We provide an analysis of a power-maximising model for dictatorial behaviour. In the model, the dictatorâ€™s revenues depend on the exports of a single crop. Using export earnings the dictator buys loyalty from the producers of the export crop by setting the domestic producer price. Revenues resulting from the difference between the international and the domestic price of the crop are used to finance a repressive apparatus. We present a complete comparative statics analysis of the choice between repression and loyalty to obtain power, in response to changes in the international price of the single crop in the economy. The results allow for a novel classification of power-maximising behaviour into benevolent, tyrannical and totalitarian dictatorships. We argue that the model and the associated dictatorship typology can be embedded into Wintrobeâ€™s more general specification of a dictatorâ€™s objective function, which combines aspirations for power with rent-seeking motives. We compare our analysis with empirical observations of the Habyarimana regime in Rwanda (1973â€“1994).JEL Classification Numbers: D72, H30, H56.
Volume (Year): 24 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
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